Teenage son wont wash!

Louise - posted on 04/14/2010 ( 55 moms have responded )

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My 18 year old is refusing to wash and his bedroom stinks. My husband is at his wits end with him and they row constantly. My son is off to uni in September and I want them to still be speaking to each other. I have tried talking to him but he just does not seem to understand the importance of hygiene. My house is starting to stink of smelly feet. Any advice ladies or do I just need to buy a nose peg!!!!

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Christina - posted on 10/19/2011

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My 18 year old is the same way. I am fed up. He wont shower, brush his teeth, or do his laundry. I did not raise him that way. Before he hit 16, he was always nice and shiny. Hes so handsome. What a shame. His room smells and I am so embarrassed. I have new in laws we live with temporarily. They must think I don't care about my son.

Shawn - posted on 04/18/2010

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I find it a little odd - coming from my own culture - that any of the mom's on here actually give their sons the option of washing or not. My husband does not argue with our children. Because he is the man of the house, they know that if it comes to "Daddy" the situation has gone on way too long. For younger children, they should be forced and if it comes down to spanking, then so be it. As for this grown man who is stinking up your house and doesn't have the decency to wash just because his parents asked him to, he would need to stay somewhere else until he decides to grow up and clean himself. If you don't believe in spanking or enforcing your own house rules, then suck it up and accept the fact your kids are running the show and you are a guest in their world. Too many parents allow their children to control situations and wonder why they are unhappy in their own homes - the homes you have worked for and prepared for your family. You deserve to be respected in your home unless you decide to hide in a corner and behave as if you owe this kid something.

Maria - posted on 04/20/2010

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Your son is 18 and no longer a child, that's what he wants you to understand by his weird behaviour. It is a power struggle to let you know you are no longer going to "order" him around and he can do what he likes. Just leave him alone for one whole month and both you and your husband must not bring the subject up at all. Just pretend you do not care about it anymore. He will be so surprised that his behaviour is no loger affecting you that he will wash up by himself. He just doesn't want to be bossed around. Also, you and your husband need to take time aside to build up a relationship with your son that has gone bad and will become worse. Before he goes to Uni, your husband must go out with him to do some special activity your son likes...watch a sports game, go and have a drink at the pub, go jogging, fishing, take a holiday ... You separately, must go out to a restaurant he likes and try to talk things out by talking to him like he is an adult, no longer a child. Don't judge him, let him pour out his heart and tell you what is wrong with the relationship. I bet he is miserable and would love to have parents who try to understnad his feelings instead of just bossing him around for a hygienic issue. What his behaviour is saying is: Listen to me, love me unconditionally, talk to me! You need to do it now, or you will lose your son , he will drift away and after University, it will be too late to get his love and trust back.

Katrina - posted on 04/20/2010

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First of all, this is your house........including his room. I am sure that you and your husband are the ones who have paid every note on it. I have a 17 yr old son that will not be funky at all. When he was 7 we went through the whole no bath deal but, he still got his bath every night and washed his hair if we had to send him back in there 50 times. Second, I would go in his room and take EVERYTHING out and put it on the lawn. Break out the pinesol because there is no telling what Filthy McNasty has living in the room with him. I just can not believe that his girlfriend would want to be around him if he is as bad and stinky as you are saying. Is she clean or is she a Funk Master too? You need to hide in the corner while your husband deals with him. Someone needs too. Ignoring has only caused this to get worse. If you keep overlooking this you are only making it worse for him in the long run. I say let Daddy blow his top and you need to support your husband and stop trying to keep the peace. You are only physically hurting your self by putting the strain of stress on you. Good luck and God Bless..........Let me know what you decide and how it turns out. ♥

RaeAnn - posted on 04/21/2010

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This is a tough one. My 17 yr old is the same he will shower and then put on the same underwear he had been wearing for a week. He refuses to wash his clothes and leaves food packages and various other nastiness all over. We finally converted the shed into a bedroom and just removed him from the house for fear of him breeding and spreading bugs to the rest of us.
On the up side he is headed off to school. Your man will settle down and things will work out once he's out of the house. PLUS if he's living in a dorm or with other peers they will take care of the prob for you. Last thing he's going to want is to be hated by the people he lives with and the girls won't be thrilled with him either!

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Denise - posted on 05/05/2013

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my 12 yr old daughter don't wash or brush her teeth im at my wits end keep shouting at her to go n clean herself up she takes no notice,she smells and im embareassed when she stays at friends and don't wash otr change her clothes she smells plz help what can I do I run her bath dozen times to no avail she just refuses to get in! its been like this for over a yr now! what do ppl suggest or do with their teens?

Carrie - posted on 11/16/2010

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My son was the same way(he is 15 now) and would maybe, phsyically forcing him into the shower) every few months. Wouldn't even brush his teeth. He says that we were just picking on him and that he wasn't going to do it because we wanted him to(rebellion?). Anyway, that stopped within the last few months...since there was a girl he was interested in. Now he has a girlfriend and brushes his teeth regularly,washes and keeps up on his hygiene a lot more. Does your son have a girlfriend? If not,(probably not if he smells terrible) then bring up the subject(casually and carefully) that he will be meeting pretty girl who will become interested in him and that girls like a "man" who smells fresh and clean. We tried this with my son, who didn't believe us. Now he does and knows taht we weren't just picking on him as he thought.

Louise - posted on 11/15/2010

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Just as an update ladies it is now 7 months after my original post and my son is at uni and I can now tell you that he has turned into a completly different person. He showers every day and his uni room is spotless nothing like the lad that stank the house out at home. So for all you mums out there there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Melinda - posted on 11/11/2010

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I have the same issue with my 14 year old son. However, my remedy/solution is to give him a verbal warning to clean his room or I go through it. He ususally cleans it .....because I throw whatever stinks in the garbage. He's lost lots of clothes which he knows I will not replace.

Tabitha - posted on 04/22/2010

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I'll tell you what helped me.... I got a phone call from my 16 year old's teacher.. We had a confrence about his hygiene ONLY!!! That boy was not imbarassed by that, so I went and bought a special can of deodorant just for me and went to the school and sprayed him down after p.e. I know it was a little extreme but hey, he is showering now and carries deodorant with him.....

Michelle - posted on 04/22/2010

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my boyfriend an i have this problem with our son and i also have two boys from a previous marriage it is normal for some reason boys go through this. well at 18 i am not sure what to say. if he is going off to UNI in september hes not going to be very popular if he has body odor. i guess you husband could through him in the shower, wake him up in the morning with a bucket of cold water, or every time he walks outside he could be waiting with a hose and spray him down. good luck hun.

Robyn - posted on 04/21/2010

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I am a hard butt and my boys both know what I say or their father say goes if they are living under my roof. But this non bathing thing sounds like a power struggle for you and your son is trying to state the fact that he is 18 now and he can do what ever he wants. This is what I would do if I was you. I would go into his room take all his stuff out of his room and put it out of the house and make him sleep outside until he takes a shower, gets rid of all trash and washes all his clothes.

Donna - posted on 04/20/2010

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I had the same problem with my son...now he is into girls and actually brushes his teeth. Thank goodness. You just have to find something that works for him. Every child is different. Good luck.

Tracy - posted on 04/20/2010

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I think this is something with all guys. It just depends on when they feel it is necessary to keep themselves tidy. I think it'll take some interest in some young lady. Believe me, it's not just your son!!!

Pat - posted on 04/20/2010

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Our solution was to take everything out of his room and put it in the back lawn. His responsibility to clean it up but couldn't use our washer and dryer, we made him go to the laundromat and use his own money to wash everything. Things got much better after that. :)

Sherrie - posted on 04/20/2010

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My son was the same way until he got a girl friend. Now she showers at least every time he sees her. lol

Teri - posted on 04/20/2010

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You know I am sorry but who says she hasnt tried everything?? Like it or not there are just some kids who do not respond to anything tried....I thought this site was to support each other as moms and help each other through hard situations, sometimes you are just at your wits end on what to do next......Stop the put downs and the preaching and start preaching to yourself because your supposed to be there for your fellow man.....I wish I handnt joined.......I am tired of reading angry accusing posts telling the mothers who ask for some advice that they are not responsible enough, religious enough, not good enough......Maybe some of you need to look in a mirror and ask if YOU are as perfect a mom as you expect the ones on here to be. Kids dont come with instructions or a guide on how this one is going to react to what type punishment it is as much a learning situation for the parent as it is for each of their individual children.

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so many parents forget that they are in charge, it is your home! do not hide. stand next to your husband and tell him... in the shower now or we will strip you and put you there like we did when you were a baby. if you want to act like one we will treat you like one. most young people do not want their parents, especially mom seeing them naked so they go do it. remind him of his bible teachings. obey thy mother and father, cleanliness is next to godliness. too many people have dropped spare the rod spoil the child. when mine were little i spanked their bottoms a few times and as older kids they obeyed..but mostly too many people have dropped taking their kids to church where they learn to obey their parents and respect adults. and most parents in general have stopped teaching manners. hiding and buying a nose plug is not the answer as his mother and father you two are responsible for sending a well groomed polite young man out into the world..not for someone else to deal with.

Liesel - posted on 04/19/2010

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Hi, My Son is 14(just turned), seem to have the same problem, I say let him stink, his friends will soon start noticing, and make comments, close his door, with regards to smelly feet, I think that is a problem with all teenage boys, buy some foot powder, dont say a word, just put it next to his shoes, remember someone else other than you is going to notice, and yes get that nose peg!!!!

Teri - posted on 04/19/2010

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I think the biggest question I have is this......Does his girlfriend keep herself clean??? How can it not bother her to cuddle, kiss and/or whatever else they could be doing with him smelling like a trash can?? If she does keep herself clean believe me it wont be long before she tires of his stink and either tells him about it or says either shower or go down the road!! Maybe you should find a few good articles on the internet about diseases people get from being dirty---like scabies for instance that are VERY contagious and takes using a cream that can cause nerve damage to get rid of them, scare him, I had step daughters once that gave me and my now ex-husband and several members of my family scabies at our wedding because their mother didnt see the need to keep them clean or the home clean. They were too young to do it themselves by the way. Nasty thing to mess with. He is WAY too old to be sitting around smelling like an ape!!! Leave these little disease article laying where he will spot them and wonder what the heck this is and read it. That way you arent preaching and he is making a very gross discovery.

Vicki - posted on 04/19/2010

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Have you tried buying him Men's products to wash with? I did this for my 13 year old son he is still not washiing his hair enough, but he likes to use Bodywash not soap, & prefers to use Lynx deodorant, mens bodywash (Lynx or Adidas.)I don't mind paying a bit more if it means he will use it.

Mary - posted on 04/19/2010

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good luck hun men are the worst about that kind of thing stay out of the middle of the arguing between the 2 guys its not pretty.......while ur at it spray him with perfume and why not his room lol..........and make sure it smells like flowers

Colleen - posted on 04/19/2010

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WENT THROUGH THAT WITH MY OLDEST SON. WHEN HE WAS 14 HE WENT THROUGH A PHASE FOR A GOOD 7 MONTH'S. FINALLT STARTED WATCHING HIS HYGIENE WHEN HE GOT INTERESTED IN GIRLS.

Debra - posted on 04/19/2010

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I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, MY SON, AGE:16 DOES ALMOST THE SAME THING THAT YOUR SON DOES,SO I GAVE MY SON DEAL, KEEP YOUR ROOM CLEAN, BY THE HE SHARES W/HIS LITTTLE BROTHER. HE NEEDS TO REPECT YOUR HOUSE,ROOM. HAVE HIM SIGN A CONTRACT STATING HE HAVE TO KEEP HIS ROOM CLEAN ,IF HE DOESN'T PUT (THE CLOTHS) IN GARBAGE BAGS.

Pauline - posted on 04/19/2010

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do what my mother threatened to do ,,,,,hang his clothes out of his bedroom window so the neighbours can see ...and refuse to wash..dry or iron his clothes ... he may soon change his attitude when he has no clean clothes to wear when he wants to go out

DeDe - posted on 04/19/2010

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At 18...he can make choices for himself. This could be a simple issue of power struggle. The more you push the worse it will get. My mother found a great way to get me to do things she suggested (that were in actuality in my best interested). Rather than touch base on topics directly, she would go through my friends. I always seemed to listen to my friends a lot more than my mother at that point. Besides, if he has some girl friends, you may have them touch up on it.

My son started with the...I don't want to take a shower. When I talked to him about how girls feel about smelly young men...well he was very inclined to take the shower.

Wishing you the best.

Ann - posted on 04/19/2010

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well a good thing to do with the socks is what I did a few years ago. I gathered up all the smelly socks and put them into a paper bag and burned them...!! I felt great after doing it and they ( The boys and men n my life) had a hard time wondering where all their socks had gone. Then they were a bit better after that for a while. Now I refuse to put socks into the normal wash. I do a separate wash for socks so if they want to always have a pair they need to keep on top of them.....good luck with your son. Also, when he goes to Uni in Sept he will soon realize how important it is to wash when he gets the stares from all the other students. If he whiffs they will soon tell him !!

Shawn - posted on 04/18/2010

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It is def not easy to be in total control of your household at all times - especially with four children. All four of my children, for example, have been driving me up the wall today with screaming and running through the house and just being overall inconsiderate since I feel terrible today. But those are things that sometimes you let go because they are little kids and I know they are just having fun. I have had to say numerous times "BE QUIET", "KEEP IT DOWN", "STOP RUNNING IN THE HOUSE", but they are 7 and younger. My 14 year old was walking around the house with her head looking matted and a tank top that she was busting out of and I let her know that I had no intention to look at her matted head or her chest jumping out of her shirt today and that she needed to "handle it" - and she did so, b/c I said so. No one's kids or life is perfect, but I think we should do our best and not give up for the sake of everyone in the house's happiness and well-being. They will thank us in the future for doing our best, even if it isn't the right decision or a perfect decision. We should just do our best, whatever that means for your own life.

Nicky - posted on 04/18/2010

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i do agree with shawn dancy and i wish it was that easy? i am a sole parent of 4 kids, 15, 13, 11, nearly 3 and its always a struggle to keep them inline! my 3yr old has had 3 big surgeries on her hip already n kept me busy with her being in a full body plaster cast n body braces her whole life, my 15yr old was run over by a ride on mower and i have struggled with his hospital appointments to save his foot (which they did) but still ongoing! so life as a single mum with 4 kids isnt easy and to consistant every time is very hard for me cos i am so tired! so i guess everybody is different at parenting and i wish we could all have perfect children lol

Janine - posted on 04/18/2010

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PS Tell him he should not try to eminent Bob Geldof cos he is better looking and not a pommy clique (OK I am being a mean Aussie now sorry)

Janine - posted on 04/18/2010

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Get your husband and yourself to post a notice in the local paper That you love your son and know when he goes to University that he will be forever in your thoughts as for now he is exerting his phermones to make sure we do not overlook him. I am glad he has a nice girlfriend Maybe she smell him not stinkyness. (Or just print this out) and give it to him)

Nicky - posted on 04/18/2010

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how about everytime he walks past you, spray him with the girliest perfume so he gets embarrassed wen he sees his mates!!! maybe he will have enough of being teased by his friends that he will shower just so he doesnt smell like a girl haha

Nicky - posted on 04/18/2010

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i have the same problem with my 13yr old son. i just tell him if he doesnt have a shower at night then why would i bother washing his school uniform when he smells n is dirty. so if he misses a shower he wears a dirty uniform the next day!!! this seems to have worked cos he doesnt like wearing his dirty uniform 3 days in a row lol! hope this works for you!

Jennifer - posted on 04/18/2010

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My 14 y/o doesn't stink, but his room does some. He too, refuses to bathe everyday, but I make him every other day, I am guessing her knows how to wash good since he doesn't stink... Boys!!!!!

Deirdre - posted on 04/18/2010

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Well if the girlfriend won't tell him he stinks and if he would like to continue to see her tell him if he doesn't shower he can't see her. Find the things he likes and take them away. My son would not bathe nor change his clothes. We started takeing things from him little by little untill he nearly had nothing left in his room. he takes showers everyday now and changes his clothes.

Denise - posted on 04/18/2010

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put him out or tell him he got to do something about his hygiene he is 18 he is older to get a one bed room your hygeiene ia very inportant.

Tracy - posted on 04/17/2010

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I have this same problem with m 17 yo son and 16 yo daughter. I just remind them gently that they need to stay clean in order to stay healthy. If they are constantly in the state of yuck, they will eventually catch something very nasty (MRSA anyone?) and end up with a depressed immune system. I would also get their closest friends involved with this. It won't be a quick fix, but consistent reminders to wash (sorry you cannot go to the movies with the family if you stink like you do) will hopefully lead to the choice of being clean. Keep a chart when you do remind your son (so you can keep track of when he does and does not comply). It doesn't have to be anything fancy just a little calendar that you can stick in your purse. Use this time as a learning time for your son who is going to be a man soon. In the meantime while you wait for your little darling to hurry up and comply already, buy some plug in fragrance warmer (Febreeze plug in's work the best) and put them in every room of the house including his room. Not every method works for every family. This is just what I did to teach my two teens that being clean is essential to survival.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Tracy McPherson
another frustrated mom of 4 teens!!

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I threatened to take my youngest outside & spray him down if he didn't shower. I haven't had to do it yet, but he knows I will.

Gena - posted on 04/17/2010

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Tried that on my 13 yr old...did not work!! Dont understand male behavior sometimes

Gena - posted on 04/17/2010

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Wish I knew answer. Have same problem with my 13 year old son. At wits end on how to make him realize how important it is to be CLEAN!!!!

Louise - posted on 04/17/2010

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The grilfriend seems pretty unfazed by it. Whether it is because she does not want to upset him I do not know. I have told her to tell him but to no avail! What women put up with for love!!!!

Kimberly - posted on 04/16/2010

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Okay, my son went through this when he started middle school. like at 12/13, but definitely grew out of it, once he realized girls would be important to him one day. Also, his father talked to him. I don't understand being 18 and still being this way? Has his behavior changed in any other way? Withdrawn, mood swings?

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I say take him outside and spray him down with the garden hose. Then take all the linen and clothes to the laundromat and have him wash everything. While he does that you can vaccuum the floor and spray the mattress with Fabreeze.

Laura - posted on 04/15/2010

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Louise,



Seems like you have the best idea about hiding and getting something to cover his nose. You would think that your son's girlfriend would have asked him to wash. I guess it doesn't bother her.



Laura

Louise - posted on 04/15/2010

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I have tried buying all the manly stuff like Lynx and stuff it just stays in the bottle. I really can't understand it, he has had a steady girlfriend for two years now so you would of thought he would of wanted to wash for her! I think I will just have to accept the fact that there are going to be a lot of fights in this house between his dad and him until September, I shall just hid in the corner somewhere until the shouting has stopped and it is safe to come out!

Laura - posted on 04/14/2010

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Louise,

You're scaring me. My son is 9 and I hope he continues to wash. Have you tried threatening to take away his allowance? What about getting him a body wash or soap that he enjoys. Perhaps he wants something that doesn't have a floral scent. Maybe a soap that doesn't have too much scent or a fresh scent that isn't girly.

Good luck. Sounds like you'll be happy when he goes to college so you won't have the smell in your house.

Laura

Angie - posted on 04/14/2010

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As long as his "funk" isn't smelling up the rest of the house, it's probably okay. Just let him know that if his room doesn't come clean when he leaves to university, he'll be responsible for getting it professionally cleaned.

Louise - posted on 04/14/2010

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Thanks Crystal......The days of me dragging my son into the bathroom are over as he is 6 foot 4 inches tall and built like a tank! I think I will just have to issue every visitor with a peg for their nose. Roll on September!

Crystal - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son is the same way..but he is 11. I have to threaten him and practically drag him all the way in there...LOL I feel for you! Boys get stinky! Maybe start spritzing him with Febreeze- it wont hurt him, it'll freshen the air, and maybe he'll decide he'd rather smell like soap than flowers! Good luck!

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